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The Department of Education (DepEd) would recommend and “strongly push” for the expansion of limited face-to-face classes, an education official said in a report by Philippine News Agency.

In a televised public briefing, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said the pilot run of the limited in-person classes in select public and private schools in areas considered low risk for the coronavirus has been “very successful”.

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“Hinihintay nalang natin ‘yung ating pagpupulong with DOH [Department of Health] on the Covid outlook, but overall, our consolidated report that we’re set to submit to the Office of the President ay naging matagumpay 'yung ating (We’re just waiting for our meeting with DOH on the covid outlook, but overall, our consolidated report that we’re set to submit to the Office of the President is it was successful – the) pilot face-to-face [classes],” he said.

Apart from the assessment, Malaluan said the department also surveyed the students, teachers and parents who participated in the pilot run, yielding positive responses from the respondents.

“We assessed for overall attendance of the participants, 83 percent overall, feeling of safety ng mga bata at saka ng mga magulang, mga guro, ay mataas din ang kanilang (of the learners, parents and teachers, their high) feedback in the 90s level of the respondents, they felt safe during the conduct of the pilot face-to-face, the satisfaction with the implementation of health and safety protocols is also high,” he said.

Learners, parents and teachers were also confident about the contribution of face-to-face classes to positive learning.

The rise of Covid-19 cases has left some parents and teachers asking whether DepEd would continue with the expansion phase of the limited in-person classes.

Currently, some schools especially those in the private sector have declared an academic break as many of their learners and teachers are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

While the DepEd is already aware of the schools that are on academic break, it is yet to provide the total number of these schools as it has not consolidated the required reports on the suspension of classes.

“Ang isang naapektuhan ay 'yung expansion phase nitong face-to-face classes, base doon sa naging liham sa atin ng DOH na sana (The expansion of this face-to-face classes is affected, based on the DOH’s letter to us) not earlier than January 15,” Malaluan said.

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He added that the DepEd would release a detailed plan on the expansion of face-to-face classes after a meeting with the DOH on Monday.


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